The reasons you don't see your own job ad in search results
“Why can’t I see my job ad?” is one of the most asked questions. We explain the answer – and why it's a good thing.

Drawing on more than 20 years of behavioural data on candidate behaviour, Dee Natoli, a SEEK Senior Customer Success Manager, is sure of one thing: “Candidates want to be presented with the most relevant job ads straight away.”

This is the simple reason you won’t (and don’t actually want to) see your own job ads in search results.

Hirers are not the candidates they hope to hire

The reality is that candidates don’t search for ads like hiring managers or recruiters do. In fact, the number of searches that include a company name in the keyword search is minimal (around 1%), which is how many hirers typically search. Natoli also says that many hirers use the classification field to find their ads whereas candidates don’t do this as much anymore.

Put simply, it wouldn’t make sense for hirers to be surfacing in their own ads because they aren’t searching the way their ideal candidate is (unless of course they are applying for the same role they were hiring for).

“We also bring candidate profile and CV data into our matching algorithms, which would be completely different to the recruiter or hiring manager experience and skillsets,” Natoli says.

The most relevant jobs 

Candidates want to be presented with relevant job ads, which is why SEEK aims to provide the most personalised search experience for every candidate.  

“We take into account a candidate’s previous search behaviour and the information within their SEEK Profile to surface relevant job ads,” Natoli says.  “We also look at the details a candidate has entered on the SEEK website, for example the location and any keywords the candidate includes.” 

Natoli says candidates type in a keyword in most searches, which is usually a role title. “This could be due to the increase in mobile usage, emergence of recommendations within other tech products or services and the evolution of roles titles and hybrid roles,” she says

More sophisticated search

This increasingly sophisticated customer behaviour and the introduction of AI-powered technology mean the location the candidate is searching for and the ad’s freshness and relevance are now all considered when matching candidates to jobs. “From this information, we’re able to predict the candidate’s search intention,” Natoli says.

AI-based job search understands the user’s intent by going beyond the keyword term and understanding personal preferences, plus the detailed requirements of the job, and relationships between roles to ensure they don’t miss out on relevant opportunities that are called different things.

SEEK’s search capability is designed to get you more relevant quality candidates rather than quantity. It's also designed to make it easier for your ads to really shine if it's highly relevant to a candidate regardless of when the job ad was posted. 

“Ads are also proactively surfaced and remarketed to relevant candidates through alerts and weekly roundups,” she says.

Getting personal

Natoli explains that the use of Jobmail alerts, weekly roundup emails and daily recommendations in the SEEK app also shows that candidates don’t want to do the “heavy lifting” and just want to be presented with relevant ads quickly. “When we surface job opportunities to candidates, we are looking at the candidate’s data to make sure only the most relevant positions are being shown to them,” she says. 

Candidates now expect more personalised online experiences and job searching is no different. Natoli believes the emergence of predictions based on behaviour and profiling in technology – for example recommendations with Netflix and Spotify  – mean that  candidates now expect to be shown relevant ads.

Put yourselves in their shoes

In her experience, Natoli says hirers sometimes have trouble putting themselves in the candidates’ shoes when it comes to job searching.  Her advice is to implement actionable ways to see things from their perspective.  This includes:

  • Think mobile first: “A simple way is to look at job ads on a mobile given this drives 78% of SEEKs traffic.”
  • Be clear: “Make sure your content is concise and engaging, as this well help your ad stand out from the pack.”

Source: Independent research conducted by Nature on behalf of SEEK interviewing 4000 Kiwis annually. Published May 2024.

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